station on 700 N in South Haven into a Highway Department substation c/o
Plan Commission Director Robert Thompson. The Commissioners already own the
property, and it is not in a TIF district. The County Council has approved
funding for the project to come from abatement money from the hospital.
Thompson said they
are in the process of deciding building plans for the property. Building the
proposed substation will require demolition of an old house that is on the
property. The proposed design includes constructing a basic building for an
office and two vehicle bays for trucks. It will act as a stopping place for
Highway Dept. workers and could be a storage area for building materials
used in stormwater management projects. Adding the substation will also
allow for better snow management in the South Haven area.
The property is
currently less than an acre--zoned institutional--so it may need to be
expanded. County Attorney Scott McClure said the Portage Township Trustee
owns the property surrounding the area, and is open to donating some land to
the County if the RDC needs more square footage. Such a donation would
require a future rezone of the property, but would make a minimal addition.
“It would be a matter of 10 feet this way, or 10 feet that way,” McClure
said. In that case, the RDC would come before the Commission again to seek a
rezone. The Commission approved the request.
Kevin Breitzke said there have been a number of attempts to use the property
on 700 N, and he is pleased to see a plan finally in place: “I’m glad to see
everybody up there working together on this.”
In the second case,
Gary and Laura Nelson petitioned the Commission to rezone their property at
60 E U.S. Hwy 6 in Liberty Township also c/o Thompson. Thompson said that
the property is currently zoned low density single family residential due to
a mistake in the last comprehensive rezone effort.
“It was an
oversight on our part,” Thompson said. Their property is to the west of
Liberty Farms mobile home park, which is and has been zoned manufactured
home park as part of a special exception made by the Commission. Four
parcels on the Nelson property are also used for mobile homes, and meet the
criteria for the same exception. The Commission approved the request for
rezone, contingent upon a staff visit to the property finding it well-kept.
The visit will occur before Dec. 12, when the Nelson’s will seek final
approval from the Commissioners.
No members of the
public spoke for or against either case.